Columbus Crew SC’s 1-0 win over a 10-man New York City SC team on Sunday was certainly one of the biggest results to start the 25th Major League Soccer season. The other 12 games each brought something different as Week 1 was full of great goals and great finishes. We also saw a league-changing injury in Nashville. MLS is back and here is the first Massive Roundup of the 2020 season.
The first game of 2020 had a wild ending as Colorado scored two unanswered to take the first three points of the campaign. After Russell Canouse scored the first goal of the MLS’s 25th season, former Crew star Kei Kamara equalized with a header in the 67th minute to put the Rapids back in the game.
Colorado grabbed the win in the last 30 seconds with substitute Jonathan Lewis finishing off a goal-mouth scramble to score his sixth career Rapids goal. D.C. stays home next week to take on Inter Miami while the Rapids go for two-straight in their home opener against Orlando City.
The Impact was able to also come back from a 1-0 deficit and get a win in Thierry Henry’s managerial debut for Montreal. Romell Quioto’s 37th minute goal canceled out Teal Bunbury’s early opener for the Revs to send both teams into the tunnel at 1-1.
The Revolution thought they took the lead with 18 minutes to go after Wilfried Zahibo’s goal was overturned for offside. The Impact then grabbed the three points with a beautiful chip from Maximiliano Urruti over Matt Turner to clinch Montreal’s 10th win overall against New England. The Revs host Chicago for Week 2 while Montreal travels to Dallas to stay perfect.
Chicharito’s Galaxy debut was spoiled by Mauro Manotas in the 54th minute. The Dynamo drew the Galaxy 1-1 at the BBVA Compass Stadium to start 2020. Houston held the ball for nearly 60 percent of the game and created 13 chances compared to the LA’s nine.
The first goal was a beauty from the Galaxy with goalkeeper David Bingham picking out Christian Pavon from his own penalty box. Pavon then cut right and smashed one in the top corner to start his account for the season. Manotas then slid through the Galaxy defense and had space to fire home the equalizer to earn the point.
LA looks to bounce back at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps next week. Houston will travel to Kansas City for a Saturday clash next.
Another game, another deciding goal at the death. The Earthquakes pulled an absolute madness with a 2-2 draw against reigning Eastern Conference champions, Toronto FC, at Avaya Stadium. After going down 2-0 in the first 50 minutes, Andres Rios scored early in the second half to give the Quakes a breath of life.
Then, after a whole second half of pushing for an equalizer, San Jose got a last-minute free kick from 24 yards out on the left side of Quentin Westberg’s goal. Quakes center back Oswaldo Alanis absolutely RIPPED the ball across into the side netting to earn the point and score the goal of the week.
San Jose will stay home for week two and host Minnesota. Toronto will return to Canada to take on East rivals NYCFC at BMO Field.
Dallas took down the Union for three points in Frisco on Saturday. The game was even on possession but Philly managed more shots with 15. Only three of them were on target, however.
Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez made three saves and the goal scorers were Czech striker Zdenek Ondrasek and substitute attacker Paxton Pomykal. Dallas stays home in the Lone Star state to host the Montreal Impact next Saturday. The Union have another week of travel as they head to the City of Angels to face LAFC.
Orlando City SC 0 Real Salt Lake 0
The first scoreless draw of the 25th season was in Orlando as Orlando City and Real Salt Lake could not convert any of their 14 combined shots. With only three shots on target, neither team was able to test the keepers and get that one key goal.
Orlando fullback Joao Moutinho put together a good game with 76 percent pass accuracy and nine duels won out of 13. Former Crew star Justin Meram came off the bench in the 70th minute for RSL and had little effect. Next week, Salt Lake will host the Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium while Orlando will travel to Mile High to take on the Rapids.
Nashville SC 1 Atlanta Utd 2
The “Dirty South Derby” was filled with action as Atlanta United silenced the record-crowd at Nissan Stadium with a 2-1 opening win. Even though Ezequiel Barco and Emerson Hyndman scored the goals to get the three points, Atlanta fans only have one thought in their minds: Josef Martinez’s injury.
Martinez took an unnatural step in the second half and immediately went down holding his right knee. He came back on for a few minutes until the medical staff got a stretcher and took him off in the 69th minute. It was confirmed Sunday that Martinez tore his ACL and will undergo surgery, likely sidelining him for the whole season. Former Crew striker Adam Jahn looks assured to step up as a starter for the 2018 champions.
Nashville fans came in droves with energy and passion for their first MLS game and were rewarded with a goal and plenty of chances to almost get their first MLS point. Nashville’s first road MLS game will be in Portland next week while Atlanta hosts FC Cincinnati at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Also, how is THIS not a red card????
VAN Whitecaps 1-3 Sporting KC
It was an emphatic victory for Sporting Kansas City out in the Pacific Northwest over the Vancouver Whitecaps. KC scored three spectacular goals in their opener with debutant Alan Pulido starting it off with a pinpoint accurate header in the 17th minute.
The second goal was a left-footed curler from 16 yards out by Gadi Kinda in the 39th minute and then the encore was an Erik Hurtado volley from inside the box with the service coming from Gerso Fernandes after a sick roulette. KC will host the Dynamo next week as Vancouver gets to travel out to LA to play the Galaxy.
NewYork Red Bulls 3 FC Cincinnati 2
The other New York-Ohio battle went the opposite way as the Big Apple’s (or New Jersey’s) own Red Bulls took down the Buckeye State’s, FC Cincinnati. It was a fun, offensive game at Red Bull Arena as New York look to find their next great goalscorer post-Bradley Wright-Phillips.
New York got goals from literally everywhere. The scorers were defender Kyle Duncan (16’), midfielder Alejandro Romero (27’) and striker Daniel Royer (70’). Cincinnati got a debut goal from the team’s big signing, Jurgen Locadia. The Dutchman on loan from Brighton came off the bench to score.
Cincy will stay on the road and travel to Atlanta while the Red Bulls look to build on its win when they go to Salt Lake.
The Crew’s next opponent, who just so happen to be the defending MLS Cup champions, joined the “late-winners” club for Week 1, beating the Fire 2-1 in the 90th minute. After an early second-half strike from Robert Beric, Seattle star man Jordan Morris came off the bench for Danny Leyva.
Morris tied the game in the 62nd minute and won it with a header off a corner in the 90th minute to grab the three points for Seattle on banner day. Morris’ brace was the first of the season as Seattle is once again a Cup favorite. The champs play the Crew at CenturyLink next Saturday while the Fire stays away from home, as they head to Gillette to play the Revs.
Los Angeles Football Club 1 Inter Miami 0
Well, LAFC won and Carlos Vela scored. Are you surprised? The 2019 MVP scored in his 10th straight MLS game with a cheeky chip over Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles after a brilliant solo run. The favorites to win MLS Cup was expected to win but Inter made life hard for them in their inaugural MLS game.
The Pink & Black will go from sunny California to cold Washington D.C. to play United next week. LAFC gets to continue its homestand with a game against Philadelphia a few days before their Champions League quarterfinal leg against Cruz Azul.
The final game of the first week was an emphatic 3-1 win for the Loons against Portland in Oregon. Diego Valeri leveled things from the spot in the 56th minute, five minutes after Kevin Molino opened the scoring.
Minnesota then took over with the go-ahead goal coming from Luis Amarilla and the icing on the cake from Kevin Molino, leveling him with Jordan Morris for the early Golden Boot lead. Former Crew player Ethan Finlay had two assists in the win with the last one being maybe the assist of the week.
United heads to San Jose to match with the Quakes while Portland opens the team’s home schedule against Nashville on Sunday, March 8.
Week 1 Fun Facts
- 10 winners from Week 1, four of which missed the playoffs last year (Montreal, Columbus, Colorado and Kansas City)
- Columbus, Dallas and LAFC were the only winners that kept clean sheets
- Week 2 will feature just two games with a perfect record on the line (Dallas v Montreal & Seattle v Columbus)
- Five goals were scored in stoppage time of the second half
- Every team in the Western Conference scored except for one (Real Salt Lake)